10/02/2013 18:41, Report by Mark Froggatt
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Boss explains Everton XI

Sir Alex Ferguson decided to take advantage of Manchester City’s shock defeat to Southampton by fielding a stronger team against Everton than he initially planned.

The United manager's overnight thought to make only four personnel changes was vindicated as United secured a 2-0 win to move 12 points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

“I was going to make about seven changes but when I got the result, I felt this was a more important game for us because it could give us a comfortable lead," said Sir Alex.

"We can make changes [i.e. rest players] later on in the season. It is realistic; we knew that if we got a good result today then we’d be in a positive position.

“In the first half, I thought Everton dominated for 20 minutes in terms of possession and had a couple of chances from corner kicks. They had some great deliveries from Leighton Baines but we saw it through. In the second half, we played much better without scoring the goals. We were in control.”

In the end, goals from Ryan Giggs and Robin van Persie were enough to seal a slender yet relatively straightforward win over the Toffees at the Theatre of Dreams. Giggs, who broke the deadlock on 13 minutes, has now scored in every single Premier League season - 21 in total.

When asked if there are any superlatives left to describe the 39-year-old United legend, Sir Alex replied: “I think they have all been used up and I don’t think Ryan needs any himself,” the boss said. “He lives on and is a fantastic human being. Today, at 38 years of age, or 39, or he might even be 40, he was up and down the pitch and showed fantastic energy for the game. It was wonderful to see.”

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